Several months ago, Cooley’s Restaurant & Pub, a mainstay in downtown Fuquay-Varina since 1998, pulled up stakes and moved closer to the center of town. Proprietors David and Paula Pittman took a big risk in relocating, but by all accounts business is booming and it’s my understanding that the couple has never looked back.
You’ve gotta love an entrepruneural success story, especially in this economy.
Cooley’s serves quality American cuisine like burgers, sandwiches, steak and seafood. When it comes to starters, you can’t go wrong with house-made chipsters or the sherry-ladden she-crab soup, which is as good as anything you’d find in Baltimore or Charleston.
The creamy chicken salad is delicious, as is the Paula’s Special sandwich with smoked turkey, bacon, and Swiss cheese on grilled sourdough bread. Standout entrees include the delectable Kentucky bourbon ribeye and the center-cut grilled pork chops.
Weekend brunch is also first-rate. For my money and appetite, the Cooley’s Platter (just $5.99) is the only way to go. It features two eggs with your choice of four pieces of bacon or two patties of sausage. Then there’s hash browns or grits and choice of toast, English muffin or biscuit.
Servers at Cooley’s are friendly and eager to please, and décor tends toward upscale casual. Be sure to save room for dessert, such as chocolate chip pecan pie or award-winning lemon pound cake.